IT’S easy to forget the battle police officers face in our community, every day and night.
They are working hard to protect the community, but are confronted with people at their worst – on drugs, violent and dangerous.
Most of us turn a blind eye, or have no idea the challenges they face.
It’s a thankless job, really – and they cop a lot of flack.
Eighteen serious assaults have been reported to the WA Police Union in less than two years.
But that is not a comprehensive list because the union is not notified of every assault, just the ones deemed the most serious.
Officers have ended up at Peel Health Campus on dozens of occasions after being attacked. Some officers were forced to take prolonged personal leave after the assaults.
One is too many but like Mandurah Senior Sergeant Darren Hart said – it is the “unfortunate reality” of their work.
The union has fought hard for mandatory sentences for offenders who assault officers.
They are working hard to protect the community, but are confronted with people at their worst – on drugs, violent and dangerous.Carla Hildebrandt
They lobbied the state government to ensure they have to serve the full mandatory sentence – without parole.
The union celebrated in August, when WA Police commissioner Chris Dawson announced 200 body cameras would be deployed within the Perth District by early 2019, increasing to 3,500 users across the state by the end of 2021.
At the time, WA Police Union president George Tilbury said body worn cameras would enhance member safety and provide courts with high-quality evidence.
“The courts will now be able to see what the police officer sees including the demeanor of charged persons at the time of the offence,” he said.
“It is all well and good to show up to court, sometimes weeks after the offence, in a neat and well-presented state, but often that is not what police officers are confronted with at the time of the incident.”
These measures will hopefully deter offenders, but only time will tell.
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